29 September 2007

Little Bitty Pretty One

For over a week now we've been doing 8" barsets. Because they're so long, they need four beads across the back instead of three, and they're about an inch wider than the smaller sets. This means that they take longer to weld, so a 96-piece job takes Chuck and me a full day to complete.

Yesterday we caught a break. Finally. Two 4.5" jobs in a row. I love the short sets because they're much quicker... same number of pieces (96), but fewer blades, fewer spacers, and fewer welds. I broke out most of the blades for the first job and all of the blades for the second job while Chuck was cutting spacers, and between us we blazed through the first job in 5.5 hours and got the second job almost half-finished before second shift took over.

The only bad thing about the short sets is that they're a little too short. Because of the way the clamping station is set up, the little sets have to be off-center in the vise, which means that one edge is protruding from the side of the vise, but the other edge is set in a little bit. That makes it nigh impossible to weld both of the edges right-handed without unclamping the piece after doing most of the welds and then re-clamping for that last bead.

Fortunately, one of the skills I was forced to learn in my TIG training at Baran is ambidexterity. So instead of wasting time unclamping and re-clamping, I just do that last weld left-handed. My left-hand welds tend to be better than my right-hand welds, so I'm not sacrificing quality, just comfort. And even that gets better after a few dozen welds.

On a "hey, cool!" note, I just found the patent information for what we make. Papermaking refiner plates and method of manufacture at freepatentsonline.com.

Coming next: Save Time

1 comment:

David said...

I love it when one of those apparently academic things you learn in school turns out to be really useful in real life.

"When am I ever going to need to weld left-handed?"